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team teaching--student P.O.V.

Monique Reed monique at mail.bio.tamu.edu
Thu Jun 24 10:12:01 EST 1999

Having been on the receiving end of a team-taught course, I can say that
they can be very rewarding, if each unit is taught by someone who is
expert and passionate about the topic.  Have mercy on your students,
though, and consider a few things:

1.  It can be very hard on students to have to adjust to 3 or 4 or 5
completely different types of exams in one term.  If the first exam is
multiple choice, some will founder if the next is all math, essay, or
problem-solving.  Perhaps a compromise could be reached and each could
include some multiple choice, some essay, some short answer, etc. so
that the format is somewhat standard.  If this is not possible, perhaps
the grading should be structured so that it is possible to "bomb" one
instructor's exam and still pass the course, if only with a D.  (In my
case, it was an Oceanography course with excellent sections on
chemistry, biology, and tectonics--and completely incomprehensible
sections on wave dynamics and currents taught by an old befuddled prof. 
We had a different instructor and a different exam each week--and two
from Dr. Befuddled.   Two weeks that term were torture.)

2.  Each instsrutor should be ready to answer at least basic questions
about the other units.  Nothing turns a student's curiosity off more
quickly than being told, "That's not my area.  You'll get that in 3
weeks," or "Weren't you listening when Dr. Brown did that last month?"

Monique Reed
Texas A&M

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